At the beginning of the issue we get one of the “kitchen table” scenes that often made this book feel so warm and accessible.
Despite the opening, this was a pretty heavy story.
Kitty Pryde identifies a local kid who lives near the mansion and also happens to be a mutant.
The kid, Larry, participates in some anti-mutant hate with the townspeople, just trying to fit in, and Kitty tells him that with that attitude, he’s not welcome as a student in Professor X’s school. He feels remorse and kills himself. It happens off-panel, and Magneto delivers the news.
It’s handled with great sensitivity—a very well-executed story about racism, suicide, and “fitting in.”
Kitty makes a great speech at the end. No sarcasm intended there–this is very well handled. Suicide in comics is a tricky thing, often used as a quick plot point without regard to the consequences. Also note that in her speech she uses the “N” word (in addition to other inflammatory verbiage), something Chris Claremont has done before. I don’t think that modern comic books would have taken the risk to include that kind of explicit language, but readers are smart enough to be able to understand that, without using the actual words, the power of the speech would be significantly diluted.